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Fambrough, Henry (10 May 1938-7th February 2024)

Baritone born Henry Lee Fambrough in Ferndale, Michigan, who was one of the original members of The Spinners.  They released several albums in the ‘70s, including The Detroit Spinners, The Spinners, Mighty Love, and New and Improved.  They also made appearances on TV programs such as The Sonny Comedy Revue and films such as Soul Power, a companion piece to the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman.  In the film, Henry taunts Ali and makes as if he is going into the ring to rumble.

The Spinners continued to churn out LPs in 1975:  Live! and Pick of the Litter, their fourth for Atlantic, under the guiding hand of producer Thom Bell.  Not to play favourites, they also performed on one of Cher’s television shows.  In 1976, they released Happiness is Being with The Spinners and were all over the TV, on Bandstand, Cos, The Midnight Special, and The Mike Douglas Show.  They followed this latest media blitz up with Spinners/8 and Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, and made guest appearances on Disco ’77 and Grease Day USA.  In 1979, they released Dancin’ and Lovin’ and made an uncredited cameo in The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.

They were on The Midnight Special twice in 1980, and Henry hosted one of these.  In 1981, they did guest stints on The John Davidson Show and Saturday Night Live.  They even did a cameo on Laverne & Shirley in 1983.  On 7th December 1985, they performed on the hit music program, Solid Gold.  Henry was credited with working on Maria Vidal’s self-titled album and appearing on The 4th Annual Black Gold Awards, in 1987.

In 1989, The Spinners released Down to Business.  The business of cranking out album after album, however, was supplanted by the business of live performing, as The Spinners made a seamless transition to the oldies circuit.  The new millennium affords us many opportunities to hear them in all of their digitized glory on CDs like The Chrome Collection, The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 5:  1965, The Definitive Soul Collection, and Love Train:  The Sound of Philadelphia.

He announced his retirement in 2023 after 69 years with The Spinners, though still having involvement with the group in the background.  Later that year the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He died as the final original member of The Spinners in Sterling, Virginia in February 2024 when he was 85 years old.

The Spinners recordings
Disco Ride (Jolyon Skinner/Eltesa Weathersby/Michael Zager)
Workin’ My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl (Sandy Linzer/Denny Randello/Michael Zager)

Here are The Spinners performing “Could It Be I’m Faling In Love”….